In this work, we use composted food waste to create ReClaym: a personal biomaterial, made at home, that reflects the makers' relationship with food. We combine our personal compost with non-toxic binders to create a biomaterial that can completely biodegrade. We propose Intimate Making as an approach for working with ReClaym that leverages familiar, hands-on techniques to enhance maker-material communication, which in turn leads to a deeper material understanding. We explore methods to customize ReClaym via color, texture, sensing, and conductivity. We apply manual fabrication techniques (sculpting, molding, and hand-held extruding) and design explorations to create a collection of applications that include garden paraphernalia, games, and personal items found in the home. We then examine the entire life cycle of ReClaym, which both begins and ends with composting---giving food waste a second life and providing a sustainable end of life for ReClaym artifacts, thus making the process truly circular.
Museums are interested in designing emotional visitor experiences to complement traditional interpretations. HCI is interested in the relationship between Affective Computing and Affective Interaction. We describe Sensitive Pictures, an in the museum, experience an emotional story while viewing them, and self-report their response. A subsequent interview with a portrayal of the artist employs computer vision to estimate emotional responses from facial expressions. Visitors are given a souvenir postcard visualizing their emotional data. A study of 132 members of the public (39 interviewed) illuminates key themes: designing emotional provocations; capturing emotional responses; engaging visitors with their data; a tendency for them to align their views with the system’s interpretation; and integrating these elements into emotional trajectories. We consider how Affective Computing can hold up a mirror to our emotions during Affective Interaction.
Our eating practices are increasingly overshadowed by the presence of screen-based media technologies that conflict with the ideologies of mindful eating. However, little is known about whether and how screens influence our eating behaviors. To contribute to this understanding, we present a rich account of the dining practices of ten participants with and without the screen. Our study revealed that eating with screens was found more enjoyable than eating alone. Screens can influence one’s awareness of hunger and other behaviors like chewing rate and food gaze, whereas screen-media did not trigger any judgements for food. Drawing on the study insights, we highlight the role of technology to support bodily awareness, savoring, a non-judgmental attitude to eating, and on rethinking distractions as companions. The outlined considerations encourage a creative yet careful take on making mindful eating more accessible within the realities of screen-based dining cultures.
As parts of our planet continues to experience extreme heat waves, it is more urgent than ever for human-food interaction research to examine climate-resilient and sustainable food practices. Our work, conducted in the hottest city in the USA, focuses on solar cooking as a set of creative DIY activities that use extreme heat and mitigate human impact on the environment. We report on a summer-long study whereby 7 enthusiasts built solar ovens from scratch and experimented with solar recipes ranging from slow-cooked pork and chicken to bread, kale chips, brownies, jerky, and fruit rollups. Our findings depict solar cooking as a form of iterative DIY, which, through its challenges and creative workarounds, serves as a point of engagement with both food and extreme heat. We reflect on solar cooking as a climate-resilient food practice and conclude with design considerations for HCI to support solar cooking as a habitual community practice.
Yo–Yo Machines are playful communication devices designed to help people feel socially connected while physically separated. We designed them to reach as many people as possible, both to make a positive impact during the COVID-19 pandemic and to assess a self-build approach to circulating research products and the appeal of peripheral and expressive communication devices. A portfolio of four distinct designs, based on over 30 years of research, were made available for people to make by following simple online instructions (yoyomachines.io). Each involves connecting a pair of identical devices over the internet to allow simple communication at a distance. This paper describes our motivation for the project, previous work in the area, the design of the devices, supporting website and publicity, and how users have made and used Yo-Yo Machines. Finally, we reflect on what we learned about peripheral and expressive communication devices and implications for the self-build approach.